‘The Walking Dead: Our World’ AR game unleashes zombies in your neighborhood

A new augmented reality (AR) game sends hordes of undead swarming through your local convenience store or shopping mall, with only your trusty mobile phone to protect you. The Walking Dead: Our World is one of several AR experiences showcased at the upcoming Games Developers Conference (GDC) made possible by Google’s new support of the Unity engine.

The software tools allow developers to use real-world locations from Google Maps — like that statue of the guy on the horse in your city park — as elements in location-based AR games.

Finnish studio Next Games is developing the title, which is based on the AMC show. Currently available for pre-registration on Google Play in select markets, it’s planned for a wide release for iOS and Android later this year. It features characters from the hit series such as Michonne, Rick Grimes, and Daryl Dixon, as well as many of the unique weapons.

“With Google Maps, we can count on providing the most up-to-date location data, meaning that when new buildings or roads are built, we’ll have them in our game,” said CEO Teemu Huuhtanen in a statement. “This enables us to create an immersive experience, tied to the players’ location. Google Maps’ unrivalled amount of location data, covering world-famous landmarks, businesses and buildings, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye, Burj Khalifa, and India Gate, makes exploring your surroundings a breathtaking experience.”

Following on the success of Pokémon Go from several years ago, several AR gams based on popular TV and film franchises are in the works. You’ll soon be able to use your phone to cast spells as Harry Potter, battle dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and collect specters in Ghostbusters. As always, you have to be careful of your surroundings when playing these games, as you can put yourself and others as risk.

Judging from the trailer, it seems the game combines a top-down map view of your immediate surroundings, with a first-person mode complete with a crosshair for mowing down the undead hordes. Some sort of leveling up mechanism for weapons is implied, although there are no real details about that aspect.

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